The game between Greater Western Sydney and Richmond at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Saturday afternoon would be hard-pushed to even be called a game. It resembled more of a training drill or match simulation for the Giants, as they easily accounted for the Tigers to notch up their very first victory over Richmond; having lost the previous five meetings. It was a record breaking day for both teams, but it won’t be a record Richmond will want to store in their memory banks for too long. For the Tigers, they amassed their lowest score in 55 years whilst the Giants had their best start to a match – a 50-point lead at quarter time in front of a record crowd of 14,974.
Instead of Richmond supporters turning feral throughout the game on social media, they became disheartened, embarrassed and ashamed of their team – at a loss to even explain what was happening before their eyes. It was the Tigers first foray to the Australian Capital Territory and after being demoralised by 88-points, they wouldn’t want to see a game in Canberra on the fixture for next season at least. What would become Richmond’s second consecutive 10-goal plus loss started out horrendously – the Tigers kicked a solitary point in the first term and one goal for the first half. Jack Riewoldt’s conversion seven minutes into the second quarter was Richmond’s first of the match and when he kicked his second midway through the third, he remained its solitary goal scorer. The long time between drinks so to speak, caused even the staunchest of Richmond supporters to retort with Bronx jeers on social media. The third term saw Damien Hardwick’s men break even, but it will go down as one of their worst performances, capped off with just 69 tackles for the game. Some other supporters meanwhile, had all but given up by the last change – opting to watch other games or do something else entirely.
On the flipside, the Giants had nine goal kickers, including five multiple – Toby Greene, Steve Johnson and Sam Reid all kicked three each. Steve Coniglio meanwhile; gave his GWS teammates plenty of supply from his 33 possessions, including 13 contested and seven tackles. Only two Tigers can hold their heads somewhat high after the poor showing in the nation’s capital – Dustin Martin and Alex Rance. They were the only pleasing thing for the Richmond faithful to take away from the game. With just four matches now left of a season they would rather forget, Richmond next faces Collingwood under the Friday night lights. The phrase, expect the unexpected, has never had so many connotations.
Final Score: GWS 17.9.111 to RICH 3.5.23.
TOP 3 TIGERS:
1. ALEX RANCE: Arguably the best key back in the AFL, the defender was a shining light on a dark day. He finished with 26 disposals (14 contested), 17 intercepts, seven intercept marks and nine marks in total.
2. DUSTIN MARTIN: The midfielder led the team statistics once more this season. He finished with 28 disposals (13 contested), six tackles, nine marks, four clearances and 18 pressure acts.
3. ADAM MARCON: The mature-age recruit was commendable in his first senior game. He finished with 16 disposals, four marks, three clearances, five tackles and 16 pressure acts.
What were your thoughts on the game?